August 1, 2021

Sunday School News: A fun day at the ballpark

(Franklin, GA) — With Heard County schools back in session, at least one fall sport was able to get officially underway this week as the varsity Lady Braves hosted Class AAAAAA Alexander in a preseason scrimmage game.

It was the first time a Brave team has hosted students from another school for a sports activity since the Braves baseball team hosted Pepperell on March 11 prior to the closure of schools due to COVID-19.

While scrimmages are normally sparsely attended, Thursday’s softball tilt versus the Lady Cougars drew a large number of attendees with an almost playoff type atmosphere for fans, coaches, and players alike.

The Lady Braves played very well against a strong Alexander lineup that is projected to make a strong postseason run in 2020 — walking away with a 13-4 win in seven full innings of play.

Senior DP Alyssa Hall paced the offense with a big grand slam over the left field fence while junior third baseman Janiyah Strong launched a 2-run opposite field homer to open the Lady Brave scoring early.

Despite the impressive offensive show from his squad, head coach Matt Hornsby was most impressed by his young pitching staff led by freshman starter in the game LilyRae Fulford.

Fulford retired the side in order in each of the first three innings before getting the rest of the night off. From there the Lady Braves’ most experienced hurler junior Brianna Hill took over with freshman Chloe Scarborough and sophomore Chasity Kates closing it out.

Hornsby was extremely pleased to see the fast start at the plate from his bats.

“We’ve thought throughout the summer that that we would have one of the better offenses that we have ever had. And we showed up today and hit the ball really well,” Hornsby said after the scrimmage.

Olivia shows of her special Lady Brave autographed softball

“From the first inning, our approaches at the plate looked spot on our discipline at the plate looked spot on.”

While very happy with his offensive weapons, it was the work on the mound that really has the coach excited heading into the first three regular season games this week.

“To me, with knowing that we should’ve had that offense anyway, the highlight for us was our pitching. LilyRae really set the tone. Nine up and nine down against that lineup is impressive,” said Hornsby after the game.

“That Alexander team is one that might be making noise in Columbus in AAAAAA this year.”

The Lady Braves will travel to Bowdon Monday for a 5:30 PM first pitch in the regular season opener at Bowdon.

Prior to Thursday’s scrimmage, the Lady Braves welcomed 4-year-old Olivia Fitzpatrick to the park with a special presentation of a softball autographed by the team.

The Lady Braves reached out to Olivia, a PreK student at Centralhatchee, after noticing a first day school photo on social media where she proclaimed “I want to be a softball player when I grow up.”

Olivia says she can already throw the ball really far and can already hit without a tee.

Coach Hornsby and staff will certainly be keeping a close eye on this young CES talent in the coming years.

Football Scrimmages Cancelled — The GHSA decided this week to cancel the first two scrimmage games in football and are now scheduled to start the season with the first regular season games on Friday, September 4. The Braves are scheduled to host South Atlanta in the regular season opener.

Softball Games This Week — The Lady Braves will open the regular season at Bowdon Monday with a 5:30 PM varsity match-up versus the Red Devilettes. The Lady Braves will host Harris County at HCHS Wednesday at 6PM (after JV) before traveling to Lamar County Thursday at 6PM (after JV). Like Heard County Braves Softball on Facebook for further schedule updates and other important softball info this season.

Georgia’s Path to RecoveryClick here to read more about The State of Georgia’s ‘Path to Recovery’ for K-12 schools.

New COVID-19 Precautions — Click here to read about new precautions being taken at the three elementary schools. Click here to read about the new precautions being implemented at HCMS and Heard High.


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